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Oversight SFSD board to announce bond committee prior to vote

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District Board will appoint a Bond Oversight Committee ahead of the Nov. 7 bond measure vote so participants will be known before votes are cast. The $138 million bond would impact all 11 schools in the district, and the committee would include at least one representative from within each school’s boundaries. There would […]

Korrie Shull, the Kennedy High welding teacher, works with the new welding room’s plasma cutter, which was paid for with a grant from the Marion County Board of Supervisors.  James Day

Up and running – Kennedy opens community-funded welding room

By James Day Kennedy High’s new welding room, an innovative public-private partnership, is open for business and ready to serve. Officials from Mt. Angel Community Foundation, area building trades and the high school were on hand Aug. 31 for an opening ceremony and the production of the first job by the state-of-the-art equipment. Kennedy teacher Korrie Shull fired up a […]

Silver Falls School District

New contract – SFSD reaches agreement with non-teacher union

By Stephen Floyd Non-teacher employees have reached an agreement with the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) after four months of negotiations that largely centered on compensation, discipline and grievance procedures. On July 28, the district reached a tentative agreement with the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA) for a three-year contract that would retroactively go into effect July 1. The contract […]

Silver Falls School District

Bargaining – Non-teacher employees at the table

By Stephen Floyd Bargaining with non-teacher employees in the Silver Falls School District is nearing its third month, well before a 150-day official deadline. The previous contract expired July 1. SFSD began negotiating with the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA) May 18. As of press time, slightly more than half of outstanding articles were resolved. Remaining issues include salaries, discipline, […]

Bond backers – Political action committee forming to support SFSD bond

By Stephen Floyd Supporters of a $138 million facilities bond for the Silver Falls School District are forming a Political Action Committee (PAC) to engage in voter outreach ahead of the Nov. 7 election. While as of the Our Town press deadline the PAC had yet to be registered with the state, former members of the district’s Bond Advisory Committee […]

Principal Jeff Taylor. Submitted Photo.

Taylor named Principal of the Year

By Stephen Floyd Mount Angel Middle School Principal Jeff Taylor has been named Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year for his relationship-building and inspiring approach to academics. The title was awarded June 22 during the annual conference of the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), in Seaside. In a news release, COSA said Taylor has had a positive impact […]

Thanks for the FBLA support

A school record, six students from Kennedy High School’s  Future Business Leaders of America chapter attended the FBLA National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia this June. Freshmen students, Audrey Brenden, Bella Dodson, Nia Ovchinnikov, Annaliese Schacher, Soliel Sowa and Megan Wagner, as well as parent chaperones Bonnie Dodson, Tanya Chuprov, and Heather Sowa were able to attend the conference thanks […]

SFSD Bond polls

Poll shows SFSD bond would struggle with voters

A proposed $138 million facilities bond for the Silver Falls School District is likely to struggle for voter approval, according to polling data shared with the District Board on Monday, June 12. A finalized bond proposal was presented to the board that night and they are expected to vote on whether or not to place the bond on the ballot […]

Bound – SFSD board weighs school needs, voter approval

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District Board is expected review the recommendations of its Bond Advisory Committee and vote on the scope and timing for a potential capital improvement bond June 20. The committee discussed $138 million in district needs in order to improve all local schools plus rebuild Silverton Middle School. The middle school is currently housed […]

The next step: How students navigate life after high school

By Brenna Wiegand When the seniors at Silverton High School in Silverton, presented their post-graduation plans to underclassmen, it was obvious that career paths are all over the map. Some students will go from high school to work while others pursue a trade. In many cases, students decide that their goals will require attending a two- or four-year college. “There […]

SFSD election results – Three new faces, one incumbent, win seats

By Stephen Floyd Four winners have emerged in the May 16 election for the Silver Falls School District Board, though one contest was still close as of the most recent election results. Eight contenders ran for four open seats.The uncertified May 24 results are from the Oregon Secretary of State Office. The count could change until votes are finalized by […]

It’s a winner – Mt. Angel school bond passes

A $7 million facilities bond for the Mt. Angel School District passed with overwhelming support during the May 16 election, which also secured an attached $4 million state grant. Measure 24-482 passed with 64% voter support out of 869 total votes, according to results published May 24 by the Marion County Clerk’s Office. Superintendent Rachel Stucky said there was “a […]

Salmon science – Learning about fish taken to a deeper level

By Melissa Wagoner When Alyssa Burge discovered an empty aquarium labeled “ODFW Salmon Release,” at the Community Roots School in Silverton, where she had just taken on the role of Garden Specialist in 2019, she knew she had to learn more. “So, I tracked it down on the internet,” she said, recalling her first introduction to the Oregon Department of […]

Community Roots cuts middle school program

By Stephen Floyd Community Roots School is discontinuing its middle school program due to low enrollment and will change to a K-6 format beginning this fall. During an April meeting of the Silver Falls School District Board, School Administrator Christen Kelly said enrollment in 7th and 8th grades had experienced “considerable decline.” The district’s class size dashboard said ten students […]

It’s official SFSD Board ratifies teacher contract

    By Stephen Floyd   The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board has ratified a contract with the district teachers’ union, officially closing a long and sometimes-contentious round of collective bargaining. During its May 8 meeting, the board unanimously ratified a contract with the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA), whose membership ratified the contract beforehand. The agreement retroactively went […]

Class size compromise – SFSD, SFEA reach negotiated solution

By Stephen Floyd Teachers won their class size targets and administrators kept their management flexibility in a tentative contract approved April 18 between The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) and Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA). The tentative contract was the result of a year of bargaining that saw the parties split on issues of class size, teacher pay, grievances and […]

SFSD introduces class size dashboard

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has published a new Class Size Dashboard to increase transparency regarding teacher workloads. The dashboard went live April 11 and the district expects to update classroom figures weekly. Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch told the SFSD Board April 10 the dashboard was in direct response to recent union negotiations where class size […]

Public engagement – Candidates chime in on guns, school safety

By James Day The eight candidates for positions on the Silver Falls School District Board participated in a lively and informative two-hour forum April 23 at the Silverton Grange Hall. On hand were Zone 7 incumbent Tom Buchholz and his opponent, Jesse Smith as well as Zone 1 candidates Phil Wiesner and Jo Tucker, Zone 3 candidates Derrick Foxworth and […]

Welding room – Private donors fund vocational workspace for Kennedy

By James Day Kennedy High School in Mount Angel will have a new welding room in the fall, courtesy of a private fundraising campaign led by the Mt. Angel Community Foundation. The project, which broke ground on April 26, is not related to the facilities bond that Mt. Angel School District voters will be voting on in the May 16 […]

Mount Angel mayor endorses school bond

Dear Mount Angel Citizens: As your Mayor, I would like to share my thoughts on the upcoming bond election for the Mt. Angel School District. I have reviewed the projects that would be funded by the proceeds of the bond sale. They are very necessary improvements that will greatly improve the safety, security and school environments for our students. Passing […]

SFSD Board candidates share motivations, perspectives

Eight candidates are running for four seats on the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board this May, with a variety of perspectives and priorities for each contender.

Our Town asked each candidate about why they are running and the impact they hope to have if elected. Below are their answers in full.

Silverton Grange hosting SFSD candidate forum

The Silverton Grange is hosting a candidate forum Sunday, April 23, for those running for the Silver Falls School District Board and the public is invited to attend. The forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall, 201 Division St. N.E., Silverton. Each of the eight candidates will give an opening statement, then the audience will have an […]

On the ballot: For Mt. Angel $7M bond gets $11M in school repairs if passed

By Stephen Floyd Officials with the Mt. Angel School District say a $7 million bond measure is about improving critical infrastructure rather than giving buildings a facelift. It’s about needs, not wants, plus a one-time state-sponsored opportunity to get $11 million in repairs with a $7 million bond.  School Board Chair Shari Riedman said the new bond is for improvements […]

Sign of the times – SFEA marches downtown

By Stephen Floyd It was an unprecedented week for the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA), between a rally in Downtown Silverton and a meeting directly with the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board. The district and union continue to negotiate a contract one year after bargaining began in April of 2022. A sixth mediation session is scheduled for April 17. […]


In the April 1 issue of Our Town, the article titled “In the ring – Eight file for four seats on SFSD Board” should have referred to Jo Tucker by the personal pronoun “she.”  The article should have also included a brief biography on Eliza Torlyn.  She has raised her children in the district and has served on the SFSD Bond […]